Dark Souls II Preview

Should you want to read another preview for From Software's Dark Souls II, I invite you to check out this piece on PS3 MMGN, which puts the emphasis on the difficulty of the playable demo at E3. Considering the series' reputation, I'll take that as a sign that development is going in the right direction:
The two areas I traversed a fiery, dank dungeon with an unsettling outdoor section, and an area startlingly reminiscent of the Priscilla portion of Anor Londo - were cramped. By which I mean they felt more like Demon Souls than Dark Souls; tight corridors, low lighting, a surplus of rubble.

The demo also sent me into a diabolical series of unlit rooms which I had to pass through to reach a bonfire, and overestimating the cruelty of From Software, I began to inch through with my shield raised, and the volume cranked up to maximum. After ten arduous minutes and some seriously stressful but deft swordplay, I emerged outside. After I eventually died (for the first time), I approached the beginning of the darkness again, and saw a torch. Pressing 'X', my character seized the flaming brand, and I walked into the darkness. Which wasn't dark anymore. The 'either hold a shield in complete darkness or hold a torch and be totally defenceless' conundrum is one that I'd encountered before in the Tomb of the Giants, but never before have I felt so confused and flattered by my own staggering dumbassery.

The final boss, a silvery giant bearing a mirror, was clearly programmed to have vastly more health and stats than normal. I watched several critics and employees at Namco Bandai chip away at its prodigious health pool, and I began to realise that From Software really, really didn't want anyone calling this game easy.